Tuesday, August 15, 2017

New Book: Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic is officially released today. According to some of the reviews, this one incorporates Balkan folklore, hence earning it's appearance here on the blog.

Book description:

Fans of Holly Black and Leigh Bardugo will be bewitched by Lana Popovic's debut YA fantasy novel about a bargain that binds the fates—and hearts—of twin sisters to a force larger than life.

All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.

But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?

Wicked Like a Wildfire is the first in a two-book series. Readers will be rapt with anticipation for the sequel.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Bargain Ebook: Beyond the Woods: Fairy Tales Retold by Paula Guran (Editor) for $1.99

Beyond the Woods: Fairy Tales Retold by Paula Guran (Editor)
is on sale in ebook format for $1.99, the first time I have seen it bargain priced. If you don't have a copy of Tanith Lee's "Beauty" yet, this book is worth the price for that story alone. The rest are just bonus after that.

Book description:

Once upon a time, the stories that came to be known as "fairy tales" were cultivated to entertain adults more than children; it was only later that they were tamed and pruned into less thorny versions intended for youngsters. But in truth, they have continued to prick the imaginations of readers at all ages. Over the years, authors have often borrowed bits and pieces from these stories, grafting them into their own writing, creating literature with both new meaning and age-old significance. In the last few decades or so, they've also intentionally retold and reinvented the tales in a variety of ways—delightful or dark, wistful or wicked, sweet or satirical—that forge new trails through the forests of fantastic fiction. This new anthology compiles some of the best modern fairy-tale retellings and reinventions from award-winning and bestselling authors, acclaimed storytellers, and exciting new talents, into an enchanting collection. Explore magical new realms by traveling with us, Beyond the Woods . . .

Table of Contents

Introduction: Throwing In – Paula Guran
Tanith Lee – “Red as Blood”
Gene Wolfe – “In the House of Gingerbread”
Angela Slatter – “The Bone Mother”
Elizabeth Bear – “Follow Me Light”
Yoon Ha Lee – “Coin of Hearts Desire”
Nalo Hopkinson – “The Glass Bottle Trick”
Catherynne M. Valente – “The Maiden Tree”
Holly Black – “Coat of Stars”
CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan – “Road of Needles”
Kelly Link – “Travels with the Snow Queen”
Karen Joy Fowler – “Halfway People”
Margo Lanagan – “Catastrophic Disruption of the Head”
Shveta Thakrar – “Lavanya and Deepika”
Theodora Goss – “Princess Lucinda and the Hound of the Moon”
Gardner Dozois – “Fairy Tale”
Peter S. Beagle – “The Queen Who Could Not Walk”
Priya Sharma – “Lebkuchen”
Neil Gaiman – “Diamonds and Pearls: A Fairy Tale”
Richard Bowes – “The Queen and the Cambion”
Octavia Cade – “The Mussel Eater”
Jane Yolen – “Memoirs of a Bottle Djinn”
Steve Duffy – “Bears: A Fairy Tale of 1958”
Charles de Lint –“The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep”
Veronica Schanoes – “Rats”
Rachel Swirsky – “Beyond the Naked Eye”
Ken Liu – “Good Hunting”
Kirstyn McDermott – “The Moon’s Good Grace”
Peter Straub – “The Juniper Tree”
Jeff VanderMeer – “Greensleeves”
Tanith Lee – “Beauty”

Bargain Ebook Anthology: Happily Ever After Edited by John Klima

Happily Ever After by John Klima (Author, Editor), Bill Willingham (Introduction) is on sale in ebook format for $1.99. It was $9.99 before this drop to the sale price.

Most of the work in this collection is not original to the publication, only one short story and the introduction are brand new. However, the collection pulls from many anthologies--at least 16--and nice person that I am, I included many of the original sources in the table of contents below.

Book Description:

Once Upon A Time...

...in the faraway land of Story, a Hugo-winning Editor realized that no one had collected together the fairy tales of the age, and that doorstop-thick anthologies of modern fairy tales were sorely lacking...

And so the Editor ventured forth, wandering the land of Story from shore to shore, climbing massive mountains of books and delving deep into lush, literary forests, gathering together thirty-three of the best re-tellings of fairy tales he could find. Not just any fairy tales, mind you, but tantalizing tales from some of the biggest names in today's fantastic fiction, authors like Gregory Maguire, Susanna Clarke, Charles de Lint, Holly Black, Aletha Kontis, Kelly Link, Neil Gaiman, Patricia Briggs, Paul Di Filippo, Gregory Frost, and Nancy Kress. But these stories alone weren't enough to satisfy the Editor, so the Editor ventured further, into the dangerous cave of the fearsome Bill Willingham, and emerged intact with a magnificent introduction, to tie the collection together.

And the inhabitants of Story, from the Kings and Queens relaxing in their castles to the peasants toiling in the fields; from to the fey folk flitting about the forests to the trolls lurking under bridges and the giants in the hills, read the anthology, and enjoyed it. And they all lived...

...Happily Ever After.

Table of Contents:

  • Bill Willingham - Introduction
  • Gregory Maguire - The Seven Stage a Comeback (A Wolf At the Door: And Other Retold Fairy Tales)
  • Genevieve Valentine - And In Their Glad Rags (Straying from the Path)
  • Howard Waldrop - The Sawing Boys (Black Thorn, White Rose)
  • Michael Cadnum - Bear It Away (Black Heart, Ivory Bones)
  • Susanna Clarke - Mr. Simonelli or the Fairy Widower (Black Heart, Ivory Bones)
  • Karen Joy Fowler - The Black Fairy's Curse (Black Swan, White Raven)
  • Charles de Lint - My Life As A Bird (Black Heart, Ivory Bones)
  • Holly Black - The Night Market (The Faery Reel)
  • Theodora Goss - The Rose in Twelve Petals (from chapbook The Rose in Twelve Petals & Other Stories and Realms of Fantasy, April 2002. The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixteenth Annual Collection, 2003. In the Forest of Forgetting, 2006. Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology, 2006.)
  • Jim C. Hines - The Red Path (Terribly Twisted Tales)
  • Alethea Kontis - Blood and Water (Intergalactic Medicine Show)
  • Garth Nix - Hansel's Eyes (A Wolf At the Door: And Other Retold Fairy Tales)
  • Wil McCarthy - He Died That Day, In Thirty Years (Once Upon a Galaxy)
  • Jane Yolen - Snow In Summer (Black Heart, Ivory Bones)
  • Michelle West - The Rose Garden (Little Red Riding Hood in the Big Bad City)
  • Bruce Sterling - The Little Magic Shop (Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology)
  • K. Tempest Bradford - Black Feather (Interfictions: An Anthology of Interstitial Writing)
  • Alan Rodgers - Fifi's Tail (Twice Upon a Time)
  • Kelly Link - The Faery Handbag (The Faery Reel)
  • Peter Straub - Ashputtle (Black Thorn, White Rose)
  • Leslie What - The Emperor's New (And Improved) Clothes (Twice Upon a Time)
  • Robert J. Howe - Pinocchio's Diary (original to the collection)
  • Wendy Wheeler - Little Red (Snow White, Blood Red)
  • Neil Gaiman - The Troll Bridge (Snow White, Blood Red)
  • Patricia Briggs - The Price (Silver Birch, Blood Moon)
  • Paul Di Filippo - Ailoura (Once Upon a Galaxy)
  • Jeff VanderMeer - The Farmer's Cat (The Surgeon's Tale and Fantasy: The Very Best of 2005)
  • Gregory Frost - The Root of The Matter (Snow White, Blood Red)
  • Susan Wade - Like a Red, Red Rose (Snow White, Blood Red)
  • Josh Rountree - Chasing America (Polyphony 6)
  • Nancy Kress - Stalking Beans (Snow White, Blood Red)
  • Esther Friesner - Big Hair (Black Heart, Ivory Bones)
  • Robert Coover - The Return of the Dark Children (A Child Again)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New Book: Little Red Riding Sheep by Linda Ravin Lodding and Cale Atkinson

Little Red Riding Sheep by Linda Ravin Lodding (Author) and Cale Atkinson (Illustrator) is released today. Page down to see some of the fun illustrations.

Book description:

The beloved classic, Little Red Riding Hood, has never had a cuter, more enthusiastic star than Arnold in this witty picture book that’s perfect for reading aloud.

Arnold is an eager young sheep who is excited to be in his very first book. No problem-o! Except he’s a bit big and fluffy to play Little Red Riding Hood, and he’s a tiny bit scared of the deep dark woods. Oh, and he has a friend who would be just perfect as Granny…perhaps the author wouldn’t mind a few suggestions?
And book pages--you can click on these to view them larger:

Thursday, August 3, 2017

New Release: Beheld by Alex Flinn

Beheld by Alex Flinn was released earlier this year. Flinn has written many fairy tale novels but this is a collection of four shorter stories within a framework. For me, the fun is especially an East of the Sun and West of the Moon retelling.

Book description:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Alex Flinn is back with magical twists on four fairy-tale favorites, each featuring a little help from Kendra, the witch from Beastly, as she searches through cities and centuries for her lost love.

Featuring retellings of favorite fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and The Ugly Duckling, Kendra’s adventures in Beheld are filled with fresh fairy-tale fun from beginning to end.

Since she first beheld James over three hundred years ago, Kendra has tangled with witch hunters and wolves, helped a miller’s daughter spin straw into gold, cowered in London as German bombs fell, and lived through who knows how many shipwrecks. But her powers have limits, and immortality can be lonely. Kendra isn’t ready to stop searching for the warlock she met centuries ago.

With the help of her magic mirror, Kendra will travel the world to reconnect with her lost love—and, of course, she can’t help but play a hand in a few more stories along the way.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

New Book: Venturess by Betsy Cornwell

Venturess by Betsy Cornwell is officially released this week. It is the second book in the Mechanica series, the first book of which was a Cinderella story about Nicolette, an inventor. This book continues her story.

Book description:

The young inventor Nicolette Lampton is living her own fairy-tale happy ending. She's free of her horrible stepfamily, running a successful business, and is uninterested in marrying the handsome prince, Fin. Instead, she, Fin, and their friend Caro venture to the lush land of Faerie, where they seek to put an end to the bloody war their kingdom is waging. Mechanical armies and dark magic await them as they uncover devastating secrets about the past and fight for a real, lasting happily-ever-after for two troubled countries—and for themselves.

Smart and unconventional, this novel will appeal to readers of romance and adventure alike.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Bargain Ebook: TODAY ONLY: Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas Book 1) by Zoraida Cordova for $1.99

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas Book 1) by Zoraida Cordova is on sale in ebook formation TODAY ONLY for $1.99. Not a fairy tale retelling, but a novel inspired by a mash up of Dante's Inferno and Alice and Wonderland, which will probably interest a lot of readers here because that's original thinking. I actually assumed Minotaur myself when I saw the title and cover. I bought this one for being a clever concept alone since my to be read pile is massive.

Book description:

An NPR Best Young Adult Book of 2016
Tor.com's Best YA SFF of 2016
A Bustle Best Book of 2016 Selection
A Paste Magazine's Best Books of 2016

The only way to get her family back is to travel to a land in between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic.

At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she's not sure she can trust, but who may be Alex's only chance at saving her family.

Bargain Ebook: TODAY ONLY: Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School) by Jen Calonita for $1.99

TODAY ONLY: Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School) by Jen Calonita is on sale for $1.99 for the ebook edition.

Book description:

Would you send a villain to do a hero's job?

Flunked is an exciting new twisted fairy tale from the award-winning author of the Secrets of My Hollywood Life series. "Charming fairy-tale fun." -Sarah Mlynowski, author of the New York Times bestselling Whatever After series.

Gilly wouldn't call herself wicked, exactly...but when you have five little brothers and sisters and live in a run-down boot, you have to get creative to make ends meet. Gilly's a pretty good thief (if she does say so herself).

Until she gets caught.

Gilly's sentenced to three months at Fairy Tale Reform School where all of the teachers are former (super-scary) villains like the Big Bad Wolf, the Evil Queen, and Cinderella's Wicked Stepmother. Harsh. But when she meets fellow students Jax and Kayla, she learns there's more to this school than its heroic mission. There's a battle brewing and Gilly has to wonder: can a villain really change?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Bargain Ebook: The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz (Author) and Hatem Aly (Illustrator) is on sale in ebook format for $3.49. Not a typical book I share here since it is inspired by The Canterbury Tales instead of fairy tales, but we can consider Canterbury part of folklore history, so it's not much of a stretch.

Gidwitz made his name with his A Tale Dark & Grimm (3 Book Series), which made me a fan of his writing. This book has received countless accolades since its release so if you haven't read it yet, here's your chance to do it at a bargain price.

Book description:

1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned, their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, where all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.

Join William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne's loyal greyhound, Gwenforte . . . recently brought back from the dead. Told in multiple voices, in a style reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales, our narrator collects their stories and the saga of these three unlikely allies begins to come together.

Beloved bestselling author Adam Gidwitz makes his long awaited return with his first new world since his hilarious and critically acclaimed Grimm series. Featuring manuscript illuminations throughout by illustrator Hatem Aly and filled with Adam’s trademark style and humor, The Inquisitor's Tale is bold storytelling that’s richly researched and adventure-packed.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Bargain Ebooks: Two by Mercedes Lackey

The Serpent's Shadow by Mercedes Lackey is on sale in ebook format for $2.99 and The Gates of Sleep by Mercedes Lackey is on sale for $5.99 for a limited time (probably ending soon).

These are the first two books in The Elemental Masters Series and are rarely on sale. They usually range in the $7.99 and $8.99 range. I happen to like the earlier books better and these two retellings are among my favorites of the series, interesting takes on Snow White and Sleeping Beauty respectively. I owned them in paper and just bought these myself in ebook since that is my preferred method of reading fiction these days for when I feel like a reread in the future.

While the link to the series above provides a full list of the series by one publisher, the series had a prequel of sorts with another publisher, The Fire Rose, an unusual take on Beauty and the Beast. I read that one long before the official series launched when fairy tale novels were a much rarer breed of book. (I used to be able to personally read all new releases with fair tale themes.) I'm a sucker for elemental magic and this was one of my first exposures to such. Add in Edwardian England and I have a lot of catnip here even when I think Lackey's speed of writing sometimes is a detriment to her quality. Fire Rose and Serpent's Shadow especially remain vivid in my memory and I first read them decades ago now. (When did I get so old?)

Also, since Lackey's series has been on the brains of others apparently, a new article about it published this month can be read here: Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters Tells a Different Kind of Fairy Tale by Maggie Boyd.

Friday, July 21, 2017

New Book: Wanted (The Storymakers) by Betsy Schow

Wanted (The Storymakers) by Betsy Schow was released earlier this year. This is a sequel to Spelled, which drew inspiration from Wizard of Oz while this one draws more from Robin Hood and Camelot. Not technically fairy tales, but they are so often lumped with them that they are considered so by the general public. Not going to quibble here since they are probably still of interest to readers here whether they are not fairy tales!

The third book in the series, Banished, will be released in early 2018.

Book description:

In the sequel to Spelled, can Robin Hood's daughter, Rexi, stop the Wicked Witch from finding Excalibur?

Fairy-Tale Survival Rule No. 52:
No matter how difficult the obstacles or all-powerful the evil villain, one can rest assured that the hero of the story never dies. The sidekicks though...they should be worried.

Rexi Hood is proud to be an outlaw. After all, she's the daughter of the infamous Robin Hood. But sidekick? Accomplice? Sorry, that wasn't in her story description. Yeah, she and Princess Dorthea of Emerald have been inseparable since they teamed up to fight the wickedest witch. But if Rexi doesn't figure out how to break the curse that binds them, forget being overshadowed by the spirited princess, Rexi's going to become a Forgotten, wiped from the pages of Story and reduced to a puddle of ink.

Not happening. No way in Spell.

Rexi's plan? Steal the sword Excalibur and use its magic to write her own tale. But Gwenevere has opened a new Academy of Villains in Camelot and danger lurks behind every plot twist. And you know how it goes in Story: keep your friends close and your enemies closer...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Newish Book: Charmed, I'm Sure by Sarah Darer Littman

Charmed, I'm Sure by Sarah Darer Littman was released late last year, but I didn't discover it until recently. A YA Snow White retelling.

Book description:

Rosie White Charming—the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming—discovers that being the fairest in the land isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be in this charming continuation of the beloved fairy tale.

Meet Rosie White Charming. You probably know her parents, Snow and Prince. Yup—that Snow and Prince. You would think that being the only daughter of two of the most famous people in fairy tale history would be awesome.

But you would be wrong.

After failing to secure a date for the Fall Festive dance, Rosie is on a mission to prove that the daughter of the fairest in the land can actually hold her own. With the help of a mysterious and magical compact that her mother gives her (and a nice blowout from her mother’s favorite salon) Rosie starts to become the person she thinks she should be. But is being the fairest in all of the land really going to give Rosie her happily-ever-after?